I just finished Kelly Minter’s study on the book of Ruth this morning. Wow! I read through the last page through blurred eyes blinking back tears of hope and encouragement. I learned so much in this study. It is much more than just a love story. There is depth, meaning, and purpose in the four short chapters of the book of Ruth. If you’re looking for a good study to delve into, I highly recommend this one.
Over the next few days, I’d like to share what most impacted me in this study. The first thing that comes to mind is doing the extraordinary. Early in the story we see two sister-in-laws. Both are Moabites. Both married Naomi’s sons. And all three women were suffering the pain of widowhood and loss. Naomi, feeling as if her life had amounted to nothing more than bitterness, tries to cast off her daughter-in-laws. “Return to your families,” she tells them. Orpah turns back to the familiar, life with her people, family, and gods. Ruth on the other hand clings to Naomi. “Where you go I’ll go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NIV)
Some would think, “So what?” But they’re missing it. The “what” is huge! Ruth was a Moabite, a foreigner from a race despised by the Israelites, an enemy of Israel. She was willing to stay by her mother-in-law through her pain and despair. She was willing to leave the life she’d always known behind. She was laying down her life for Naomi with no guarantees of a secure future or even acceptance in a foreign land. She was doing the extraordinary.
You have to read the rest of the story to see how things unfold, but that act of selfless love, led to Ruth’s name being recorded forever in the pages of scripture. Where is Orpah? There is no further mention of her. But Ruth, she had a role in the greatest miracle of all time. What was that you ask? I’ll not divulge the secret here, but you can check it out for yourself in Matthew 1:2-16.
I am challenged. What is the extraordinary for me? What is your extraordinary? Will we step into it? Will we take that leap of faith and leave the familiar behind for one great adventure with the God of all creation? My toes are curled along the edge of the cliff waiting for God’s green light to jump. Will you join me?